HOLCIM is just the latest in a long line of major corporates citing Switzerland’s record-high safe haven currency as a factor behind a dip in their fortunes. The strength of the currency has depreciated dollar and euro-denominated revenues and profits, while input costs and local production costs have rocketed, and output prices have to be raised to compensate. As firms from pharmaceuticals giant Roche to household goods maker Procter & Gamble feel the strain, who else gets hurt from the strength of the franc?
OSWALD GRÜBEL, CEO OF UBS
Swiss banks have seen profits hammered by the strong franc. UBS blamed the franc in part for a 49 per cent fall in first-half profit to 1bn francs (£766m), while rival Credit Suisse cited it as a factor in cutting 2,000 jobs.
PAUL BULCKE, CEO OF NESTLE
It isn’t just banks suffering – from Emmentaal cheese to chocolatiers, Swiss exporters are hurting. Nestle said the franc helped make 2011 one of its toughest ever years, cutting almost 14 per cent from first-half revenues.
TRADERS - VARIOUS
Pity the commodity and hedge fund traders hit by the swissie’s strength. Most salaries are paid in francs but bonuses are understood to be paid in dollars, and the franc is up 24 per cent against the dollar in the past 12 months.
ROGER FEDERER - TENNIS CHAMPION
The tennis ace has a home in Oberwil, near Basel, but his income is international, from winnings and sponsorships. That makes being at home expensive, though he is worth an estimated $150m so may not feel it too deeply.